This day that Year: India chased a target of 400 plus for the first time in test cricket


The era of the all-time greats of West Indies witnessed the Caribbean side producing legendary icons can be bracketed in the second half of the 70s. These times highly speak of the quintessential game of Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and Andy Roberts and to overshadow such prodigal talents was just next to impossible for any cricketing side of those times. However, their stronghold and dominance was surprisingly challenged and later crushed by the Indian side and that too on their home turf when they successfully chased the target of 406 runs in the year of 1976.

The match that set new standards for World Cricket

Viv Richards begins the show for West Indies

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It was the year of 1976 and the touring party India was playing its third test against a very strong sided West Indies. Playing first in the innings, the home side set a challenging score of 359 runs. Star of the innings was Vivian Richards who added 177 runs to the score line. Accompanying him brilliantly in his cause was Clive Lloyd who knocked 68 runs and became the second highest scorer.

Holding dismantled the crux of Indian batting, Kallicharan raised the lead to a mammoth high

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India in response fell miserably to the brilliant pace attack of Michael Holding (6/21), and thus rested their innings at the score of 228. The winning crusade of the West Indies in the second innings was marked by Alvin Kallicharan who scored a century and remained unbeaten. The time the Caribbean side declared their innings they had an enormous lead of 400 odd runs.

Chasing the impossible and finally victorious

From this point, a win seemed highly difficult for the struggling Indian side.But they achieved the impossible in a handsome manner by the end of the 5th day. Players that brought this triumph were Sunil Gavaskar and G Viswanath who scored 102 runs and 112 runs respectively.

Though the Indian legend Gavaskar turned out to be one of the match winners, he was quite doubtful of his performance when he opened the innings. Admitting to this irony, Gavaskar in a post-match conference commented,“I was confident that we could save the game because the wicket was still good; but the thought of winning never entered my mind.”

Contribution of the top order batsman Moinder Amarnath also can’t be ignored as he scored 85 runs for the team’s winning campaign. Moreover his calm demeanour and responsible playing greatly encouraged Gavaskar to go for big strokes. In the end, India with its final score of 406 runs and 6 wickets remaining, registered the match under its name.

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